Logo Design - How To Prepare A Creative Brief
An effective creative brief for a logo design project has to be comprehensive in many different ways. The creative brief is what each professional in your organization that is involved in the logo design process will use to do their jobs, so your brief has to tell exactly what the client wants and what the client expects. A professional brief is done in steps, and it is important to pay close attention to each step as you put the brief together.
Step 1 - The Summary Statement
The summary statement is sometimes referred to as the problem statement, and it is just a short introduction to the problem the project will solve. If the customer needs a new logo to replace an existing logo, then the problem statement will explain why. If this is a new company that does not have a logo, then the summary statement will explain in a couple of sentences what the company wants to see out of its logo and how the logo will be used.
Step 2: Client Biography and Profile
The client biography and profile is one part history, and one part objectives. It is important to gather all of the pertinent data that relates to why the company was started, who started it, and how the process of creating the company came about.
When it comes to the company profile, this is as much your observations as it is what the client tells you. The client may say that they just cannot pinpoint what kind of theme they want for the logo, but the bevy of sports-related pictures in the client's office tells a different story.
Step 3: Project Objectives
With the objectives section, you want to try and develop a single statement that outlines what the customer expects, and then back that statement up with specific information. For example, your objective statement may be "the customer wants a logo that appeals to a younger audience," and then you would finish the project objectives section by outlining the specifics of the audience, and the kind of effect the client wants their logo to have.
Step 4: Project Format
The project format section is a straightforward list of exactly what the client expects in terms of deliverables. Does the client want the final logo printed out as well as delivered in a digital format? What type of digital format does the client want? Does the client have any special requests when it comes to the type of paper to be used on the printed product? Be very specific in the project format section to avoid frustrating your customer.
Step 5: Budget and Timeline
If the budget for the project is broken down into sections, then include that information in the budget and timeline section. It is always good to have milestones in your timeline so that you can have deadlines that help you stay on track.
The budget and timeline section should be dynamic and constantly be updated. As each milestone is reached, you need to make sure that the project is still on schedule and within budget. If this section of your brief starts to change at all, it may be necessary to alter your approach so that you can make the customer happy without losing money.
The Four Cardinal Sins Of Logo Design
Your company logo, for many people, is your company's primary source of identification. Your logo is a summary of your company and it is supposed to create mind share within your target audience. When people see your logo, they should think about your company and doing business with your company. That makes your logo a very important marketing tool for your business.
We have been designing logos for years and we have learned a lot about what does and does not work in logos. When it comes time to create your company's logo, you are going to want to avoid the four cardinal sins of logo design.
A Logo Shall Not Be Complicated
The most effective logo in the world, the Nike Swoosh, is also one of the simplest logos in the world. After millions and millions of dollars in marketing, just about everyone in the world recognizes that little Swoosh as the logo for Nike. The one thing that everyone can learn from the Nike Swoosh is that good logos are not complicated.
When anyone looks at your logo, the reaction you want is "Hey, that is neat!" If the reaction you get is "What is that supposed to be?" then you need to go back to the drawing board and create a new logo.
Thou Shalt Not Use Inside Jokes For Logos
When the Linux operating system was first being created and offered for free, the developers chose a penguin as the logo. Why? Because Linux created Linus Torvalds mentioned once that he liked penguins. Three decades later, a marketing brand was born.
When Linux was introduced, it had a huge swell of grassroots support that instantly made it a worldwide sensation. People were looking for anything to compete with Windows and Linux fit the bill nicely. If your product has a groundswell of grassroots support from thousands of people all over the world, then you can use an inside joke as your logo. Otherwise, inside jokes only create confusing logos.
Thou Shalt Use The Company Colors In The Company Logo
If you look at the colors used in the most successful corporate logos, you will notice a deliberate trend. All of the very best corporate logos use the company colors and nothing else. The Coca-Cola logo is only red and white, and the Buffalo Sabres' logo is blue and gold.
In order for your marketing to be effective, there needs to be consistency in everything you do. Your website, logo and all marketing materials need to have a consistent theme and color scheme. Without consistency in your colors, you will not be able to establish brand recognition.
Thou Shalt Not Have More Than One Logo
The biggest logo cardinal sin that many new business owners commit is having more than one logo that is used for different types of situations. Once again, the key in good marketing is consistency and having more than one logo, for any reason, confuses customers and takes away from that consistency.
Let Us Make Your Logo
We have the experience and talent to create your perfect logo. Let us create the cornerstone of your marketing plan and the core of your brand recognition program by developing the perfect logo for your company.
Four Reasons Why Your Logo Is Critically Important To Your Company
A company logo is one of the most important marketing elements your organization will ever own. Your logo appears on your business cards, letterhead, marketing materials, and it is all over your website. That is why you should contact us and allow our professionals to create your logo for you.
What makes your logo so important? What is it about your logo that requires you to invest in our professional services? The importance of a good logo cannot be overstated, which is why the development of your logo should only be done by a professional.
If you are in business, then you are familiar with the term "market share." But have you ever heard of the term "mind share?" To understand the mind share value of a logo, let's go through an example. Let's say you walk into a shoe store to buy a pair of sneakers. You really do not have a brand preference in mind, until you see the Nike swoosh on the wall. Suddenly, you must have Nike sneakers. That is mind share and it is extremely powerful.
Human beings are visual creatures and we respond faster to visual cues than we do to verbal ones. When you are driving a sports car through a city in a video game, even the game developers know that arrows pointing the way are more effective than having the game give you verbal directions.
Your logo becomes the way that consumers visualize your company. If you think about McDonald's, you think about the golden arches long before you imagine the word "McDonald's Restaurant" on a sign. A good logo helps establish the brand recognition your want inside and outside your industry.
Establishing Your Corporate Identity
Consider your logo like a brand that cattle ranchers put on cattle. When other ranchers see that brand, they know who the cattle belongs to. When people see your company's logo, they will instantly identify your company with that product or idea. This is why so many major corporations use their logos in their television and magazine advertising. Putting the logo side by side with the product or idea permanently associates the two in the mind of the public.
Speeds Up Communication
The singer called Prince used to use a symbol to identify himself for a while. Some people thought he was a little eccentric, but the idea was actually a brilliant marketing ploy. The symbol became Prince's logo and you could either refer to him as "the artist formerly known as Prince," or you could just show his logo.
Your corporate logo works the exact same way. Instead of having to say your name to sales prospects, you just show them your logo and they can instantly identify your company. The more people who identify your logo, the most successful your company has become.
A good logo is critical to the long-term success of your company. Give us a call and we will discuss your company's identity and marketing objectives with you. Then we will deliver a logo for your company that will become the single most important marketing element your company will ever own.
Picking the Perfect Logo for Your Business
A good logo is both the lynch pin and the first impression of a brand. Designing and perfecting your logo is one of the most important steps you can take to making your brand stand out from the rest. The public sees a logo as an instant reminder of the company or the service that it stands for. Your logo is all of your company's ideals and goals wrapped into a superbly crafted icon.
You and your designer will work together to help you to realize your vision for your logo. But first, let us go over a few common mistakes that many people make with their first logo designs. Seeing the mistakes of others will help you to avoid them yourself in your logo journey.
Common Mistakes Found In Novice Logos
- You don't need to fill up all of the space. A good design will include empty space around your logo.
- You don't need to use a bolded font or text for all of the writing. Use it sparingly to emphasize the most important things only.
- Always run your clever headlines past your most honest friend. Ask them to be very honest.
- Read through your copy and highlight the most important parts. Read the highlights again. If it takes longer than 30 seconds, you have too much copy.
- If you are using color in your design, use it very sparingly.
- Photos are sometimes tricky to use in designs. Don't use photos from a cellphone. Photos found on-line may not be free to use. A lousy photo is worse than no photo at all.
- You don't need to use every font you own. One or two fonts are best to create a clear image.
- Proofread once. Then proofread again.
Now that you have an idea of what to avoid, we can give you a good place to start working on your logo. There are several steps on the road to a great logo.
Number one. Know your audience and your brand.
Who do you what to attract with your logo design? In other words, who is your company's target audience? Your logo must be crafted in a way to appeal to your audience. Think about your company and its history. Study your old logos and any old advertising that you may have. What was strong about those old designs? What was weak about them? Being able to identify your prior strengths and weaknesses will take you far in deciding which direction to move your company's next public persona.
Number Two. Avoid Clichés.
Of course you want your new logo to be memorable. And, you naturally want your new logo to be as iconic as any in your field. The problem with stating these as your goals is that they are nearly impossible to design. To get an iconic and memorable logo will require a more nuanced approach. Do you want a logo that uses strong and forceful imagery or something understated and simple? Both approaches can lead to something that is immediately memorable. When it is backed up by your quality service and attention to your customers, it will become iconic for quality.
Number Three. Pick a Great Font.
The perfect font for your logo is the font that is clear, easy to read quickly and that matches the branding of your company. Avoid the lure of the fun 'gimmicky' font face or the overly stylized font. Instead, go for the classic fonts with good strong lines. Your logo can be embellished with other garnishes of color or imagery. Keep your font clean. After all, you want your customers to know just who you are!
Four Characteristics of a Good Logo
Logos are an intrinsic part of any businesses’ image. Well designed logos can do wonders for your brand while a bad one can cause lots of damage. Creating a great logo takes a lot of thought and creativity and many elements need to come together in order to get it right.
Whether you’re trying to re-do or are thinking about creating a new logo for your company, there are four key components that will help you best express your company’s needs and image.
Good logos are useful
At their very core, logos are a graphical representation of your company. As such, they need to be portable and versatile; easy to use in any situation. Some logos might look great on paper, but when you apply them to other situations, they don’t fit. Size, colors and versatility all matter – so creating something that works in a wide range of settings is important.
Good logos are memorable
Well-designed logos are unforgettable. Whenever the viewer sees your logo, they should be able to instantly identify what it is you do and what you’re all about. Logos are all about symbolism. Make it memorable!
Good logos have a sense of timelessness
Great logos should be portable and appealing, no matter what the current trends might be. It may need a touch-up here and there, but the right logo is a logo that you can grow and evolve over time without sacrificing its core meaning and symbolism. Long story, long – you want a logo that can work for as long as it can.
Good logos are aesthetically appealing
Ugly, overly-bold logos turn people off and attract the wrong kind of attention. Good logos appeal to the senses – conjuring up positive images of your brand that stir positive emotions about you, your company and its services.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that creating a good logo is hard. It can take hours of work, hours of refinement and sometimes it even calls for some outside opinion. Still, it’s one of the most important things you’ll ever do as a business owner and it’s worth the time and effort to make sure you get it right. A good logo can pay huge dividends for years.